When you pose for stock photos, you may not even be able to imagine how those photos will be used. Writer Abigail Johnson recently warned people to “never do stock image modeling,” as a photo of her ended up in quite an… unusual article.
But then, people joined with their own experiences, each more bizarre than the other. Some of them were funny, but most were embarrassing and downright humiliating.
The article with a photo of Abigail was printed by The Guardian in early November this year. “I’m 25 and won’t have sex until I’m married. Why can’t I get a man?” the title reads, with a portrait of Abigail used as an illustration. She added “not a virgin” to her Twitter bio (which made me laugh out loud) and tweeted a screenshot of the article with a caption reading, “NEVER do stock image modeling, just don’t do it.”
NEVER do stock image modeling, just don't do it. https://t.co/OmRfoGlhvo
— Abigail Johnson 🌹 (@abigail1963) November 10, 2022
And if you thought this was awkward… Wait to see the experiences of other stock photo models. They shared screenshots and video clips in the thread, with some truly embarrassing examples. As you scroll down, keeo in mind that there’s some foul language.
it could be worse, far worsehttps://t.co/yIYWQstH6t
— Christoph Breuer (@chribreuer) November 11, 2022
reminds me of this (also there’s another one with a guy posing next to a photo of himself in a psa about spreading STDs but i do NOT want those keywords anywhere NEAR my image search) pic.twitter.com/tfuCMsDqf9
— jess (@mistortewdee) November 11, 2022
This quite LITERALLY happened to me pic.twitter.com/axGayUMMRT
— Kaptain Kunta Kinte (@GODIsMy_LORD) November 11, 2022
I see your stock image article and I raise you mine.😬 pic.twitter.com/VRgdd8r7PY
— Florian Sachisthal (@FSachisthal) November 11, 2022
— #RBLE | Sunny & Gabe (@GabeNiles) November 12, 2022
— S M (@onceoffac) November 11, 2022
This is a stock photo of an old friend. It was used in a article about fucking a Chicken Burger pic.twitter.com/p1xcM0zGEQ
— Darth Positive (@DarthPositve) November 11, 2022
— rick snip (@rivrann) November 12, 2022
Too late. pic.twitter.com/5P1AGt65ob
— Thique Church Girl (@ChristianJoy) November 12, 2022
This old pic of me was used on a Japanese porn website, circa 2005. pic.twitter.com/hi3WyNuxSn
— Kelly J. Crawford (@keldruzod) November 11, 2022
One of the users isn’t even a stock model, someone just used his profile photo
— Hustleberry Fin (@Mj_The3rdPick) November 12, 2022
Of course, a few Twitter users recalled the famous Friends scene:
Friends taught me this in the 90s pic.twitter.com/H42WpnwNiJ
— Ross (@Ross_McDougall) November 10, 2022
All of this reminded me of my own weird story back in 2018. I posted a self-portrait on EyeEm, and I later spotted it on Samsung Malaysia’s website, heavily photoshopped, advertising Samsung phone’s “portrait mode.” Needless to say that the photo was taken with a DSLR and a vintage lens.
To be fair, a model release notes how a photo of you might be used, and you can be sure that it will be used. And when you sign the document, you agree that it can be used in pretty much any context imaginable. So if you wouldn’t like to become the face of that new hemorrhoid cream or a VD prevention poster… Perhaps don’t take that stock modeling gig in the first place.